Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

January 27, 2015

I'm only here so I won't get fined.

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Kim Hollis: The Boy Next Door, an "erotic thriller" featuring Jennifer Lopez, debuted with $14.9 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?

Jason Barney: Despite what some will identify as a soft opening, the numbers for The Boy Next Door are awesome. Yes, American Sniper deserves to get all of the attention as its performance is much larger, but Boy Next Door earned its budget back on Friday. Most of the marketing costs were swallowed up by Saturday, so we can identify pure profit before the end of the first weekend. For Universal this is great news, as it takes the sting out of last week’s Blackhat, which was a certifiable bomb on arrival. The Boy Next Door was put together for a slim $4 million and brought in over $15 million for the weekend. Is The Boy Next Door going to stick around and be a box office force for a couple of weeks? No.

This is going to get lost very quickly, but it might hang around in the top ten for a couple of weeks. If it maintains any respectable number of screens, Universal’s investment is going to bring in plenty of dough. With three wide openers next weekend it may end up in the bottom half of the top ten, but the money has been made.


Edwin Davies: This is a solid result for all the reasons that Jason said, though it's worth bearing in mind that the bar that the film had to clear was incredibly low. Even if it had done Mortdecai numbers, The Boy Next Door would have still covered its production budget. This is another win for Jason Blum, who has managed to carve out a niche for himself as a producer of low-budget genre films that keep costs low and generally eke out a profit (though he's probably a bit more psyched about his Oscar nomination for Whiplash).

The bigger question for me is what this means in terms of Jennifer Lopez's career. It's her best live-action opening since Monster-in-Law almost 10 years(!) ago, which is encouraging, but she achieved it by starring in the sort of film that looked tacky when Shannon Tweed was making them 20 years ago.

Matthew Huntley: The Boy Next Door's opening was essentially in line with my personal expectations, reason being it has "guilty pleasure" written all over it, and such films tend to do fair to respectable business on their first weekends before, as Jason pointed out, exiting quickly. One of the reasons I think it may have done as well as it did is because the same audience is gearing up for 50 Shades of Grey in just a couple weeks, so J. Lo's movie served as sort of an appetizer before the main course. I've no way to prove this, but it seems reasonable enough. Another reason is the counter-programming. Despite American Sniper being so appealing to mass audiences, it's not exactly female-centric, and The Boy Next Door offered a reasonable alternative. Overall, it's a solid performance for the third weekend in January, so Universal should be more than pleased.

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